A good redemption story needs a badly behaved protagonist—a “proper cunt” in the very British parlance of the Gallagher brothers—and Liam Gallagher certainly fit that bill back in the ’90s. As the singer (but, notably, not the songwriter) for Oasis, he went from a hardscrabble working-class existence to the top of the pop world in a matter of months. That kind of whiplash would make anybody a bit crazy, and Gallagher dealt with it by kicking against the pricks of the media, fiercely defending his privacy by embracing the idea that his job not just made him immortal but also gave him a license to be the most arrogant pop star who ever existed. Whether it was an act or not, it was marvelously entertaining—as was the first chunk of the Oasis catalog. Though never exactly household names in America, the band were bona fide superstars at home in the U.K.

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But pop stardom, to borrow a phrase, disappeared slowly and then all at once for Liam Gallagher. Oasis’ stock fell over the years, and what often seemed like a publicity-driven sibling rivalry with his brother, Noel—Oasis’ guitarist and primary songwriter—came to a head in 2009, when Noel quit the band just before they were about to take the stage in Paris. Liam tried to reclaim some fame with his post-Oasis band, Beady Eye, which failed to spark much in the way of music or sales. In his redemption arc, this would be the low point, especially since it was roughly timed with a high-profile divorce that left him broke enough that he claims to have made overtures to his brother for a money-grab Oasis reunion.

Longtime Gallagher friend and companion Charlie Lightening’s new 10-years-in-the-making doc, As It Was, only gets unnaturally sweeter and more rose-colored from there, as Liam finds love, music, and success in what seems like one fell swoop. He dotes on his girlfriend, who’s also his manager, and he realizes that if he hires a bunch of studio musicians and songwriters, he can truly get his vision across. A proper solo album does well enough that Gallagher can even get tired of touring again—though he takes better care of himself this time around. He takes up jogging, puts down the drugs, rekindles his relationship with his kids, and even tones down the arrogance, shockingly saying that “Oasis weren’t that good.” Almost losing fame and its attendant plusses shocked him into unfamiliar states of gratitude and humility.

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It’s a good story—especially the focus on music as redeemer—but it does feel a bit too warm and fuzzy. As It Was isn’t the warts-and-all documentary it sometimes thinks it is, gliding over Gallagher’s bumpy past and never really taking too close a look at the hard stuff. Gallagher’s divorces, for example, weren’t pretty, and it’s not really made clear that he’s meeting a daughter who appears late in the movie for the very first time. She’s 20. It’s easy to imagine one of his exes—girlfriends, wives, or bandmates, take your pick—watching this documentary through gritted teeth. (“As it wasn’t,” you can practically hear them saying.) He wants to be the bad guy who’s turned a corner here, but the badness depicted is mostly fun and easy to excuse as a rock star doing rock-star things. It’s tough not to view the whole project as a bit of well-timed promotion, too, coming as it does within days of a new Liam Gallagher solo album. It’s all a bit nice, which doesn’t exactly jibe with history. Nor does it always make for compelling viewing, as much as it might make fans happy that their hero has found some measure of peace.